…so I watched the Celtics and Miami Heat on Thursday night. And, you know, I finally came to the conclusion – and i’ve always felt that it’s a work in progress, what the Miami Heat are. They are basically a sandwich with no bread.
Its Grade A deli meat on a plate and it’s just hard to eat that stuff with your hands. And you watch the Celtics and you got Rondo here at the bottom with the bigs. Then you’ve got guys in the middle, all that good stuff in the middle. Paul PIerce and Ray Allen. Lakers have Fisher, Brown, Blake. Then they have Bynum and Gasol…They got Kobe, Artest, Barns and Odom in the middle. All you have with Miami is a bunch of deli meat in the middle, but you’ve got no bread! You’ve got no point guard and you’ve got no centre.
Tim Legglard was on ESPN radio last Tuesday and he joked about how if you can beat Miami off the dribble, your basically going to the tin and there is nobody there to stop you. To quote him, he said “They [Miami] do not have size; they don’t have a legitimate deterrent in the paint at all. The Lakers have 5 guys that they can – that’s 35 feet of people. Now there’s no need to panic and give up on the Heat. But it’s a legitimate concern. What are you going to do?”
Bottom line is, I feel right now that the Lakers are the best – and I sat down this morning and I really sized up Miami, Boston and LA. Now, there’s a bunch of teams in the league like Orlando, Portland, Chicago…but LA is the most skilled team in the league, they are the best finishing team in the league and they are the deepest offensive team in the league.
The Lakers don’t go long stretches struggling offensively, somebody always gets hot and now they are only better with Blake. They’re big’s are skilled, their defensive guys are skilled. Ron Artest is a defensive player yet he can score. The Lakers have the most skilled roster in the NBA; they are the best 4th Qtr finishing team and deepest offensive team.
Boston is the best defensive roster; they are the toughest team, the chirpiest team. They are the best team in the league for the first 3 quarters of the game. But Rondo doesn’t shoot, Garnett is past his prime and if Ray Allen is not hot and you’re locking down Paul Pierce, their offense can become a messy pretty fast. They lose a lot of big leads, but nobody locks you down like the Celtics.
And Miami has three excellent players, but no centre and no point guard and a limited bench. They are not in the Lakers class and not in the Celtic either. But again, it’s a work in progress, Lebron James said after the game that it’s a “…work in progress and you get to a point where you say that you try to rush it, rush the process you know, and we just can’t do that…” you can’t do that! 9 games into the season, if you count playoffs, you can play 110.
We’re not 1/10th into the season and Miami is going to the playoffs (right now there a 5th seed). An interesting number with the Heat, they are + 9, that’s their average winning gap. That’s 2nd in the NBA to the Lakers.
So when they win, they are big and flashy, but when they face elite teams with bigs, they need help. They need at the trading deadline (Feb. 24th 2011) they have to go out and get a big. They absolutely need Mike Miller back; he’s a big who can shoot. So it’s a work in progress, but I don’t believe that in this year, in my opinion, they will ever be as good as Boston and ever as good as LA.
When this team was put together, I said it then and I’ll say it now, it’s not built to win a championship this year. It is built to win a championship next year and for the following 7 years. It’s gonna have a 7 year window to win a lot of championships. All these guys have got 7 good years (Wade probably 5 years). They will un-doubtly add piece, because players want to play with Leborn, players want to play with Bosh, players want to live in Miami. But it is absolutely a work in progress and Dwayne Wade was pretty funny after the game saying “we don’t think we should be 5-4 at this time but we are 5-4 you know, you can’t run from your record. So all we can keep doing is going from here. I think we’re better than 5-4, they’re the best 5-4 team in the league…how about that!” Well maybe not, Denver is 5-4 and they just beat the Lakers (handing them their first loss of the season).
I always joke on my rants, saying that fans are emotional creatures. That’s why I love you, that’s why these rants are read, you read my blog and are crazy. I get all these e-mails, texts, posts saying “oh my god, they’re just terrible, there is no leadership here…” It’s not a leadership issue. How would you like to be the Knicks and your 0-4 on guys, they wanted Chris Paul, Lebron…they can’t get any of them, at least they’re not the Knicks. The Knicks are the anti-Yankee’s. They put their name in for everybody and can’t get anybody.
So Miami is going to get a lot of players to play with Lebron, this thing is going to take some time to work itself out, but that’s where we are today.